Tech Guide

Does Intel Virtualization affect Performance? (Explained!)

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

The majority of the Intel processors come with advanced features like virtualization technology, but many peoples want to know whether this technology affect the overall performance or not.

I have been using Intel processors for more than a decade now. After completing a virtualization technology analysis, I am writing this article to inform you of everything.

So, Does Intel Virtualization affect performance?

Generally, Intel virtualization allows the system to run Virtual Machine, and it has no impact on the regular performance. Still, when it comes to gaming, you will notice massive or minor effects on performance depending on the specifics of the Virtual Machine. 

I know you still have many questions about Intel Virtualization technology; therefore, in the below section, I have explained all the essential things about Intel Virtualization technology, so keep reading this article until the end.

What is Intel Virtualization Technology?

As Wikipedia explains, virtualization is creating a virtual version of something, including virtual computer hardware platforms, storage devices, and computer network resources.

The modern Intel processors come with Virtualization technology support which means these Intel processors have the hardware ability to divide and isolate their computing capacity for multiple host virtual machines and their operating system. This technology is formerly known as Vanderpool.

Techopedia provides a simplified definition of Intel Virtualization technology; they said that Intel Virtualization technology is a hardware virtualization technique that works in cohesion with software and operating system Virtualization to create a pool of typical or Virtual computing environments on top of it.

This technology enables developers, service providers, and general end-users to utilize their hardware processors’ complete and extensive computing power by dividing its power into logical processors and assigning each of them to several virtual machines or operating systems.

What Does Intel Virtualization Do?

Intel Virtualization Technology allows virtual machines (guests) to run closer to the hardware (host) with much better performance.

Usually, a Virtual Machine is a small enclosed environment that simulates another computer at a high performance. In fact, it is the same CPU, not an emulated one.

Now, let’s dive straight into the point What Does the Intel VT do?

Suppose you have a Windows 11 PC/ laptop and use an Intel processor supported with Virtualization technology. In that case, you can easily set up a virtual machine and install Windows XP and Windows 7 on it. Moreover, you can install some distribution of Linux to try it out, or maybe toy with DOS or some experimental OS that probably isn’t even compatible with real hardware. 

Android emulators are also Virtual machines and thus need this virtualization technology to be enabled.

VMware is also a virtualization technology software that includes VMware tools; it usually runs in the guest operating systems and has drivers that use the Virtualization technology features.

Oracle Virtualbox has an equivalent feature called Virtual Box additions that does the same thing.

Also Read: Is Intel Core 2 Duo good for Gaming?

Should You Turn on Intel Virtualization for Better Performance?

No! the Intel Virtualization technology does not affect the regular program performance. If you are not running virtual machines on Intel processors, then there is no need to enable this feature from your BIOS settings. 

Now, let’s dive deeper into this-

The Virtual Machine allows for running a different operating system than what is installed on the computer by using virtualization software like Virtualbox.

The OS installed on the computer is the host OS, and the other OS installed within the Virtualization program is called the guest OS.

The host and the guest share CPU resources, and some other hardware can also be passed through to the guest OS. It’s a nice way to be able to tinker with an OS that you are not familiar with.

So, it’s clear that Intel Virtualization helps you run several operating systems on your existing system with virtualization software, and it has no impact on the system’s performance.

Does Intel Virtualization affect Gaming Performance?

In general, if you are running the game inside the intel virtualization, it would almost certainly have some effect. It could be massive or minor, depending on the specifics of the virtual machine. 

A massive effect can occur if the virtualization doesn’t have good GPU support.

Now, discuss the effect you will notice when you run games on the host PC and the virtual machine.

Games on the Host PC

Depending on how many resources you allocate to the virtual machine, your host machine could slow down, mainly from CPU or RAM bottlenecks.

Just pick an appropriate amount of system resources that won’t tax your main machine too hard but won’t be too little for the VM to function, and you’ll be fine.

Many games are primarily GPU driven, with RAM playing a massive factor in 3D games with big worlds.

In this case, the host machine is the absolute priority here. If you’re emulating ancient software circa the 1990s, there’s no need to give so much wiggle room to the VM, so give it about a single GB or two of RAM, and you should be fine.

Games on Virtual Machine

Unfortunately, the virtual GPU in VMWare and Virtualbox does not come with hardware acceleration. The ones that do often are incredibly poor and only are there to enhance regular usage; they do not work well for playing video games. You will experience display artifacts and huge framerate drops.

I hope now that it’s apparent in your mind whether the Intel Virtualization technology affects gaming performance or not.

Also Read: Is Intel Good for Multitasking?

Will Turning on Intel Virtualization Slow down Computer?

There’s a lot of confusion among the people about whether the Intel Virtualization technology slows down the computer or not?

Some peoples say that Intel Virtualization won’t slow down your computer because virtualization does not consume significant resources. When a computer is going slow, it’s because the hard drive, processor, or RAM is being overutilized.

This is the case when you only enable virtualization and are not running the virtual machine inside your systems.

But, in my experience, when you run a Virtual machine, your system can slow down because you begin to consume resources when you start up a virtual machine. 

Does Disabling Intel Virtualization Improve Performance?

No! having the Intel Virtualization enabled or disabled doesn’t affect the overall system performance. 

If you are not using virtualization software, it should not affect the performance.

I have enabled and disabled the Intel Virtualization technology multiple times and didn’t notice any performance drop or stability issues.

Also Read: Are Intel Stock Coolers Good?

How to Turn on Intel Virtualization Technology?

You can enable the Intel virtualization technology from your BIOS by following a couple of steps, and the steps are mentioned below-

Step 1

Turn on the computer and press the F2 button to enter into BIOS.

Step 2

After entering into the BIOS page, go to the advanced tab by pressing the right arrow key from the keyboard.

You will notice the Intel Virtualization technology option in the advanced tab here.

Remember that if you do not see the Intel Virtualization technology in the advanced tab, then BIOS is not updated; update the BIOS by reading this- Article.

Step 3

Bow, press enter- select enabled by pressing the up and down arrow keys.

Step 4

Now, go to the exit tab by pressing the left and right arrow keys- in the exit tab, select the exit setup option and press enter.

Step 5

In the new window, select yes and press enter. Now the system will automatically restart.

Final Thoughts

Based on all the facts & examples, it has to be said that the Intel Virtualization technology does not affect regular performance. Still, if you run a virtual machine and play games, you will notice some minor or major performance issues depending on the specifics of the Virtual Machine.

Also Read